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I was reading the following sentence:

Die meisten Studierenden hielten den Präsidenten für unglaubwürdig.

and I read on wiktionary that

halten + für means to consider, to regard

but I know from previous studies that für is the preposition "for", so my question is:

What is the use for the preposition für? Is it simply an element of Old German that has been accepted with time?

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Following this rule, I merge the information from the comment into an answer.

"Etwas halten für" is a phrasal verb. These exist in English, too. They aren't too common in German as there are prefixed verbs for the same purpose, but some exist nevertheless. See phrasal verbs. An example of a phrasal verb in English: "take for", or even the more exact translation in this meaning, "confuse sth. for sth."

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